Teaching patterns using the calendar is by far (in my opinion) the easiest concept to teach your preschooler. It’s visual, predictable, self-checkable, and your child can get in on every part of it – from designing the pattern unit at the beginning of the month to choosing fun images that will repeat throughout the month.
There are many fun ways you can choose to implement your pattern. Our patterns use number cards with different holiday/seasonal images on them that we found at a local teacher supply store, but you could use anything from post-it tabs to actual objects somewhere nearby as seen here.
I recommend starting out with a basic AB pattern, meaning that you will alternate from one image or object to the next. For example, in our October calendar we alternated between pumpkins and leaves. In this pattern the pumpkins would be “A” and the leaves would be “B,” resulting in an AB pattern.
If you are using date images like the example above, you’ll want to work with your preschooler to figure out the next image in the pattern by starting with the first image and touching each image, saying the pattern as you go. If you are using separate objects you can do it any time during your calendar routine.
“You’re right – today’s date is going to need the number 22. Now let’s go back and check the pattern to see if it’s going to be a pumpkin or a leaf. I’m going to put my finger on the number 1 and you say the pattern with me: pumpkin, leaf, pumpkin, leaf…. (continue on until you get to the last image already on the calendar). So the last picture is a pumpkin, that means today will be a… leaf! Yes! Great job – you’ve got Pattern Powers!”
Next month we will move onto turkeys and leaves with an AAB pattern like this:
Have fun! 🙂